Future NASA Engineer Starting College At 12

Inspiration | By Adrianna Zavala | April 28, 2021

Every parent wants the best for their children. It is the nature of the American Dream to hope that they will be able to enjoy a better, more abundance life than their parents before them, generation after generation. This is only natural, as you of course already know, isn’t it?

But it’s a scary world, with many pitfalls to befall a child and the parents raising them. There are headwinds flying in the face of many people’s development, and just as every parent wants what’s best for their little ones, every parent also worries.

But parents hoping to secure the future of their children can look to the example of little Alena Analeigh, a 12 year old girl in Texas who has already graduated from high school and is now starting college, with the ultimate goal of someday becoming an elite engineer for NASA. It could be your children, parents!


The mother of Alena, Daphne McQuarter, recalls her daughter – now planning a double major in astronomical/planetary science and chemistry- was a precocious child with big confidence and bigger dreams from a very early age, saying often that she was going to work for NASA, and ultimately declaring that she would be the youngest Black girl ever to work for the space agency.

And the little girl was not just talk, spending all of her time obsessively building with Legos, including making models of such structures as the Taj Mahal, the Disney castle, and vehicles like the Millennium Falcon, and of course the Apollo 11 rover and a NASA rocket. This is the kind of childhood behavior that would-be parents of an Alena can identify in order to nurture their interests and help them achieve similarly.

Busy Girl, Big Dreams

And Alena is not waiting to graduate from college in order to begin racking up the achievements, having already started the Brown Stem Girl website to encourage girls like herself into the STEM categories. And she’s written a children’s book entitled Brainiac World as well, not to mention a podcast on STEM sciences that will play host to a personal hero: Mae Jemison, the first black woman to go into space.

It’s all part of her desire to not only achieve as a scientist on her own behalf, and work for systemic social change on behalf of others that have been left out of such areas of society historically. These are, no doubt, the makings of the kind of resume that gets looked at pretty intently by hiring managers at the world’s premier space agency!

Dreams To Be Realized

Word of the young prodigy Alena Analeigh has already reached the ears of those in leadership at NASA, and it would seem that already they are quite impressed, having reached out to her to talk. No doubt when the time is right after she has finished school, she will realize all the dreams she had for herself. As Analeigh herself has said in an interview, “It doesn’t matter what your age or what you’re planning to do. Go for it, dream, then accomplish it.”

And, seeing all of Alena’s story play out from the vantage point of a harried, exhausted young parent just hoping that the child they raise will sometime live a good, happy life after their parents are gone, one cannot help but be quite encouraged about the prospects of what might be.



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